Extraordinary

Album: Liz Phair (2003)
Charted: 78
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Songfacts®:

  • With her self-titled album, Liz Phair introduced a new sound to her work. The album was a success and brought her to the attention of mainstream audiences, but it also caused great criticism from some of her former fans and some in the independent music press, which accused her of selling out. This song, about a woman in love with an exasperating man who doesn't understand her, became one of her biggest hits, reaching #28 on the Top 40 Mainstream Chart. ESPN used it in their coverage of women's college basketball. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mike - Santa Barbara, CA
  • Phair wrote this with the songwriting team The Matrix, whose hits include "Complicated" by Avril Lavigne and "The Remedy" by Jason Mraz. Bringing in The Matrix was a sure sign Phair was phishing phor a hit, something that wouldn't have gone over well in her days on the Lilith Fair.
  • Phair spoke of the public's conflicting opinions of the album in an interview with Yahoo! Music: "I didn't really anticipate the polarizing effect that this record would have because of my past career - that a lot of people were holding on to the sense of me as I was in the early '90s, and that there was gonna be this kind of dividing line between people who were into what I was doing now and people who wanted me to be the way I was when I was just starting out. And it was funny, because I think where I went to college [Oberlin], we're trained to be provocateurs. Like, a lot of my friends who are in the entertainment industry as well, who went to school with me, are also lightning rods for controversy. So I realized as this record came out, there would be, like, glowing reviews in People, and then lacerating reviews in the San Francisco Daily or whatever. And it was so funny because I thought, you know, I didn't anticipate this, but this is so me, you know? Getting in trouble. Always getting in trouble."
  • This was used in the 2004 movie Raising Helen, starring Kate Hudson. It was also featured in the TV show Charmed in the 2003 episode "Oh My Goddess!: Part 1."
  • Pitchfork's Matt LeMay panned the album in his review. He accused Phair of selling out and gave it a 0.0 score.

    In 2019, LeMay apologized on Twitter for his "condescending and cringy" review, admitting that "to a smug 19-year-old Pitchfork writer (cough) in 2003," it was inconceivable that an established indie artist would record a radio-friendly pop album.

    He added: "The idea that 'indie rock; and 'radio pop' are both cultural constructs? Languages to play with? Masks for an artist to try on? Yeah. I certainly did not get that. Liz Phair DID get that - way before many of us did."

Comments: 2

  • Alayna Adriana from Lafayette, InOoh I like it. I heard it on Charmed and googled it. tehe. it's nice
  • Theresa from Murfreesboro, TnThis album got a lot of flack but I love it! So what if she wanted to use outside writers, it worked!
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